US, Philippine Navies Sail from Manila Bay
190319-N-DS193-150 SOUTH CHINA SEA (March 19, 2019) - U.S. 7th Fleet Flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) steams behind Philippine Navy vessel BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF 16) during a maritime cooperative activity. Blue Ridge is the oldest operational ship in the Navy and, as 7th Fleet command ship, actively works to foster relationships with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific Region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Adam K. Thomas)

SOUTH CHINA SEA – U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) conducted a maritime cooperative activity with Philippine Navy (PN) vessel BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF 16), March 19.

Following Blue Ridge’s port visit to Manila in which 7th Fleet-Philippine Navy staff talks were held, the routine drills strengthened both navies’ ability to communicate, maneuver and operate together. The U.S. and Philippine navies routinely conduct engagements, exercises and port visits like this and have done so for decades.

"I couldn't be prouder of the relationships we've built with our allies in the Philippines," said USS Blue Ridge Commanding Officer Capt. Eric Anduze. "Having the opportunity to work closely with them at sea only strengthens our crew's ability to operate in the Indo-Pacific."

Exercises like MTA Sama Sama, Balikatan, SEACAT and RIMPAC enhance maritime cooperation between both navies, while annual missions like Pacific Partnership bolster humanitarian assistance disaster relief (HADR) capabilities.

Blue Ridge recently completed a nearly two-year extended dry-dock selected restricted availability period and numerous certifications, to ensure she remains ready to provide security in the Indo-Pacific region. Blue Ridge is commanded by Capt. Eric Anduze and serves under Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 7/Task Force 76, the Navy's only forward-deployed amphibious force.

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